Monday, November 2, 2015

Why we used Sydney's Catering Project

If you asked me a few years ago about using catering for work functions, I probably would have said our in-house kitchen in our firm would appear to be operating just fine. But in house kitchens in professional services firms are not restaurants trying to bring in new customers, new business and probably are under less pressure to strive for innovation in food craft and do something different like the competitive restaurant industry. Food we are provided with where we are working in the office with no breaks are usually the same: for lunchtime training sessions it’s usually chicken, ham and salad sandwiches, with juices that have way too much sugar content; morning or afternoon tea are usually mainstream supermarket biscuits; birthdays or any other major life celebrations sugar filled cakes or doughnuts are usually ordered, which I generally don’t eat; and client meetings or big events like Federal Budget that promises late nights and early mornings are usually the same type of plated food or buffet of modern Australian cuisine, and nothing too flashy. The food prepared in house is usually fairly predictable.

So I decided to change that. Small steps firstly starting with welcoming a new person into the team with a morning tea celebration and generally, we find any excuse to celebrate any major life changing event with food and drinks. I asked my personal assistant, "What are you ordering for morning tea?" and the conversation went as follows:

“The usual cupcakes” she replied, “Why?”

I said, “We always have cake. Why don’t we try something different? Why don’t we try the guys at the Catering Project?

“Who are they?” she says.

 I replied, “The guys who run Bowery Lane, on 1 O’Connell Street”

Another team chimed in, “Oh, I’ve been to Bowery Lane. Their burgers are soooo good…”

Sold! I really was craving something different for morning tea. But the conversation does highlight a couple of things:

#1 People generally are happy to stick with what they know unless a better suggestion is made

#2 Catering companies are chosen by word of mouth

#3 It really helps where the catering company is related to a restaurant people already know and have been to and they will have some context and know the quality of food they will be getting when they place a catered order.

The first time we ordered, we largely left it up to the Catering Project guys to choose for us within budget and the amount of people that needed to be catered for. The delivery was scheduled for 10am and the delivery guy was early which was great because if this was a client meeting timing can be critical in making a good impression as you only have one chance to make a first good impression in front of a client. I get a call from reception upstairs to pick up the delivery. As there were 4 large boxes, the delivery guys waited to help me move them where they needed to be moved, which was back downstairs. Yes, this was different to our normal tea, biscuits and cake for morning tea. The boxes were natural, rustic and beautifully presented. I could smell the goodies in boxes from the time I met the delivery guy to the time he came with me to the room we moved them to. So the aroma was coming from the little decadent sweets from the Catering Project’s Classic sweet collection and Classic pastry collection. There was also the Granola for the healthy and my favourite the Green Power Juices with spinach, kale, apple, pineapple, mint. This was the first I had seen my team member’s take out their iPhone to take photos of morning tea, making heads turns of other passerbys in the office wondering what was going on.

My PA and I attended Catering Project’s event last week launching their new Summer Collection at The Porter, on 1 O'Connell Street, Sydney which is a great venue for boardroom meetings or if you need to have any sort of confidential meetings and reasonably priced (when you compared to hotels conference rooms we usually book if we need more space). She agreed with me that presentation of the catering food was outstanding and one of the most comprehensive, interesting and visually stimulating catering menus we’ve seen.

You’re bound to find something sweet or savoury from the Catering Project to cater for any occasion. This definitely was a good choice for our little morning tea event and we definitely got Catering Project on speed dial to use again for our future in-house events.

Events are tailored and quoted on a case by case basis. They deliver Sydney wide. You can call them 02 9251 2120, email or go to their website to see their menu selections.


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